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Osun 2022: Court adjourns ruling on APC face-off

A Federal High Court in Osogbo has delayed ruling on a case made by The Osun Progressives (TOP), a faction of the Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), seeking the annulment of the wards, local government, and state congresses.

The APC faction had alleged that the congresses were not properly conducted.

Also, the Gboyega Famodun-led Osun APC faction and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had filed a preliminary objection challenging the powers of the Federal High Court, Osogbo to determine the application.

The INEC Counsel, Muyideen Adeoye, contended that INEC’s position on the application was in pursuant to the provisions of Sections 251 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and 87 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

Adeoye had explained that the court would not be able to do what the law has forbidden; hence, his Lordship should reject the claims of the applicants.

While arguing that where the court lacked power to pronounce on the principal relief, he noted that it could not proceed to the auxiliary relief.

The INEC counsel also prayed the court to reject the case of the APC faction on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Counsel to The Osun Progressives, Adesina Mohammud (SAN) while countering the preliminary objection from INEC, urged the court to discountenance the submission of INEC and proceed to the substantive matter.

Mohammud posited that the court had the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and should so hold, while INEC rejected the application of the splinter group on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Adjourning the matter to February 2, 2022, for ruling, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola of the Federal High Court stated that it was necessary after listening to both counsels on fair ground.

The Osun Progressives (TOP), which has the backing of Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, is challenging the validity of the ward, local government and state congresses conducted by the All Progressives Congress National Secretariat

The Gboyega Famoodun-led Osun APC and INEC had earlier filed preliminary objections challenging the powers of the court to hear the matter.

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